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James McAvoy's UK Hit Filth Acquired By Magnolia Pictures

James McAvoy could coast on nothing but X-Men movies from now until retirement. (Heck, that’s what the older Xavier, Patrick Stewart, practically has been doing.) But the Scotsman doesn’t settle, testing his abilities in genre fair that sometimes has a hard time finding proper, wide distribution. So it’s encouraging to hear that his latest, Filth, has a distributor, and a possible window of release.

Magnolia Pictures stepped up and agreed to release the black comedy Filth in North America, according to a release. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), the movie casts McAvoy as Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, a "scheming, manipulative, misanthropic man who spends his time indulging in drugs, alcohol, sexually abusive relationships, and ‘the games’ – cruel plots and systematic bullying of his coworkers and friends," according to Magnolia. While working a graphic murder case Robertson finally starts to fall apart, giving in to hallucinations fuelled by his inner demons.

Just ask Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles, who said:

Very funny and deeply disturbing in all the right ways, Filth is a wild ride, driven by a performance for the ages from James McAvoy. Filth is going to join the ranks of Trainspotting as a cult classic."

We ran red-band trailer clips and a NSFW trailer for Filth weeks ago:

Here’s the thing, though. Magnolia isn’t exactly gambling. Filth currently ranks as the year’s second highest-grossing R-rated film in the UK, where it opened earlier in the year. It also has earned British Independent Film Award nominations for James McAvoy (Best Actor), Jon S. Baird (Best Director), Shirley Henderson (Best Supporting Actress), Eddie Marsan (Best Supporting Actor) and a nomination for Best Achievement in Production. So yeah, there’s plenty of interest in Filth long before it opens here in the States. It likely will play better than McAvoy’s Welcome to the Punch or Trance which struggled to find an audience despite Danny Boyle’s name above the title.

Magnolia plans to release Filth in the U.S. in Spring 2014.

Sean O'Connell

Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.